Thursday, August 20, 2020

Bollinger County FREE Senior Pictures

I am offering FREE Senior Pictures this year for ANY high school senior that lives in Bollinger County or attends school in Bollinger County.  

My plan is that I will have a couple of days that I will meet seniors at a location and take their photos.  There is absolutely no cost from me, I will give them free digital access to the photos.  They will have the rights to print them and use them for whatever they need to. 

I will do multiple dates, multiple locations, and different seasons.  

This has been on my heart for a couple of years. I know this year will be different and God is calling me to use my talents more for the people of my community.  

If you are a senior and want your picture done (even if you plan to have professional photos) please complete the form here:

If you are a hair dresser, another photographer, business, ect and would like to partner in this please also fill out the form and comment under section Other:

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

We say Grace

Everywhere I go, everywhere I turn, I hear “there is something happening in the community, what is it?”  Well, We say Grace, is what is happening.

This past weekend I made a trip to the Patton Saddle Club for the Patton Lions Club’s Cheese Fries and the fast lawnmowers of the Patton Lawnmower Racing.  It’s a family event and a local favorite for my family.

While I might have only been there for cheese fries and fast lawnmowers, it was a touching event, not only because they honored a Bollinger County Champion, Bill Fulton, but because they practiced the American traditions that many of us hold close to heart.

Just moments before the racers took the track the crowd stood and a local young lady sang the beautiful lyrics to our National Anthem, it was enough to bring tears to your eyes as you stared at the flag above the race track.   Then we all bowed our heads and prayed for the racers, the community, and thanked God for the opportunities he gives us.  We said Grace.

In the past four years as a community leader and active citizen of the community I have watched a change not just in the structures of our community, but the people in our community.

I have seen a shift in the activism in our community, I have seen community members step up and step out to do great things out of the love for our county and our residents.  I have seen our local athletes make the brave act of taking a knee before a game and praying God’s blessings over their team and their opponents.  I have seen students choose church over parties and God over lust.  I have seen community leaders, elected officials, and community events pause and pray together before they begin.

These are the changes happening in our community.  This is where the good is coming from.

Some may say this is a new wave, some may say this is a step back to the 1950’s, but I say this is what happens when We say Grace.

(This is a copy of this week’s column that I write The Banner Press, I encourage you to support our local paper)


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Zero Self-Confidence

If I told you I had zero self-confidence you would probably call me a liar.

For years I spent a good portion of my time making sure I had enough retweets, comments, and brand marketing to hold my status on social media – this was not fake, this was part of my job.  During that time I also declared that one day we would need therapy of some sort to deal with social media
addictions and the unsettling emotional affects (drama) that social media brings.  As I scroll through my newsfeed today, I can tell you that “need” for therapy is well past and we have major problems amplified by social media.

In 2012 I hit my lowest point ever – many know, some can assume.   In 2013, I went back on my “promise” to never move home and loaded my Dad’s truck with all my personal belongings and moved home to live in my parent’s basement.  I totally marketed this period of time as “my choice” but in reality it was the only place I had left to go.   Between 2012 and the end 2014 we could say it was a growing period, I would like to say it was the crash of what happens when you discover “you are just not that important to those you are trying to please.”  In 2015, I realized I was hugely important to my heavenly father and instead of trying to please man and woman, I started trying to please him.

It is 2020, I have zero self-confidence, but I have 100% God Confidence.  I am not brought here to please every man, woman, or child.  It does not matter if you read my post or scroll past and ignore me.  It does not matter the number of likes on my post.  It does not matter if I have dinner with president or dinner with the homeless man while sitting on the curb of the McDonalds.  Those things are just not that important.

It does matter that I am living and doing God’s Work – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.  It matters so much that when I devote every moment of my day to God’s work I don’t notice how unequal I am to the world around me.  When I am so dug down in studying God’s word and doing his work, I don’t notice my gray hairs, my extra pounds, my unpainted toe nails, and my mismatched clothes.  I do notice that feeling that I am important, I am loved, and I can accomplish great things.

Give up on Self Confidence.  Desire God’s Confidence.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  Galatians‬ ‭1:10‬

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Refrigerator is Killing Us.

After my 10 millionth call to LG USA customer service, I sat down at the kitchen table with PaPa Tom and he declared to me he is sick.  Not just sick he is dying.

Dying from lack of attention, due to me being on the phone yet again with LG USA Customer Service Center.  Really though this stupid under warranty refrigerator has consumed 16 days of my life.  16 days!  I could have built a refrigerator by this point.  Okay, maybe not, but I could have bought one and had it delivered already.

I have declared they have won the battle, I will go purchase a new refrigerator tomorrow, it will be any brand that is not affiliated with LG.

I seriously hate how big box companies treat the little man.  They treat us like we so unimportant. Their customer service agents change their story, they don't communicate with each other, and they tell you they are there for you in an emergency - well tonight they told me it would be 7 to 10 weeks.

In 7 to 10 weeks, I will have 7 to 10 week old new refrigerator that will not be an LG Brand.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Caregiving through a Pandemic, Riots, and the End of Times.

I sat down today to edit photos and work on some stuff for our local chamber of commerce, but here came PaPa Tom and he wanted to eat pizza and talk about why we do not watch the news.  This is a daily conversation in our house, so much I have threatened to take the cords off the television and the batteries from the remotes - I know it is intense.

Several weeks ago when Covid19 first started being talked about repeatedly on the major news outlets we learned just how bad the news media can be.  It was the first day that school was cancelled for the pandemic and my daughter calls me and says "Mom, PaPa Tom is in the floor and can't get up."  I did some talking and coaxing over the phone - enough to learn he had chosen to get in the floor, but didn't have the strength to get up - either by choice or by exhaustion, that I may never know.  I left work drove home and found them sitting in the floor together talking, but he could not get up.  I helped him up, sent him to get dressed, and then we were off to the doctor to have "ailment" evaluated.

I knew what his "ailment" was, just the night before him and I had discussions regarding how urgently he needed to plan his funeral, because he was dying from Covid19.  When we arrived at the doctor they ushered him back to the room and I chatted with our doctor - small town blessing, we are on a first name relationship with our amazing medical professionals here - and we discussed that he had been watching way too much news and thought he was dying.  She acknowledged that could cause problems in ones health and headed to evaluate his condition.  Turns out he was healthy and needed to watch less of the mainstream media and news outlets.

We have "moved on" from the pandemic and moved to the riots (disclosure, I am not racist, I do not agree with what happened to Mr. Floyd, I also do not agree with the rioters) and now we have buildings being destroyed and threats being made.  This is all unsettling for anyone watching the news, but more for someone who has limited ability to defend themselves - it is heartbreaking!

About a week into the pandemic, I started adapting to how to be a caregiver through all this, I am not an expert (medical professional), but I am living and doing hands on during this time.  We made rules, new habits, and changed routines to help us keep our sanity.

  1.   We do not watch the news.  We do not watch CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS.  We watch very little FOX news, while it is less bias and less outrageous, it is still raw images of what is going on - we can't handle that. 
  2.   We do watch press conferences.  When we want to know something.  We like to hear things firsthand.  We limit how many press conferences we watch as it can still be a bit too much. 
  3.   We listen to podcast.  We are big fans of Rick & Bubba  and  Phil Robertson.  We look for inspiring stories from trusted sources.  We do occasionally download past broadcast of Paul Harvey, because Paul is a timeless classic. 
  4. We go to limited places.  We go to safe places - the local garden shop, the park, and we just returned to church two weeks ago.   PaPa Tom is not going to big box stores - we don't normally take him to those stores anyways, it is just not a place he likes to hang out. 
  5. We warned people that normally talk to him on what not to talk about. It sounded drastic and controlling the first time I made a Facebook post telling people "you may not talk about President Trump, Governor Parson, or the Coronavirus."    I knew though people outside of my home did not see the impacts their conversations had on him.  
  6. We stayed connected.   Facetime as much as I hate it, is a wonderful thing.  He regularly facetimes his other son, he does Zoom Bible Study, and he talked on the phone to his friends regularly. This is good for his heart.  
While I never changed my cleaning habits, what we ate, nor did I add any vitamins - what we did change was our mental focus.  We tried to focus on good things, happy thoughts, and knowing that no matter what happened today, Jesus had our tomorrow.     

(PaPa Tom is my husband's father, he came to live with our family just weeks after his wife passed away.) 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Share Your Church, God’s Got This

This morning over breakfast, inspired by our conversation with our neighbor Brandi, PaPa Tom and I discussed there will be more church on Facebook than there was on the channel 27 with the 700 Club.

In the midst of this, there are GREAT things happening through the church.  Prior to today, on Sunday mornings, the church we attend like many others was only seen or heard mostly by those sitting in the pews.  

Today, churches all across our nation will be or has been heard by millions from all over the world. The church has stepped outside of the doors and is preaching the message of God’s Love in this time of crisis.  

I encourage you if your church has an online service today, please share it.  Reserve yourself from posting any news articles, any meme’s, anything not family related or Jesus related and flood Facebook with God’s Love.  

Here is a list of a couple of our favorites that we know are online:  

First Baptist Church of Marble Hill, MO’s Pastor Andrew Green:

Cape First of Marble Hill:

Remember tonight, 8pm, set an alarm, and LET’S PRAY!   

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

FMLA Policy, Senator Roy Blunt’s Response

Somewhere around February 19, 2020 (a long time before the coronademic)- I sent a letter to Senator Roy Blunt and Congressman Jason Smith regarding the current FMLA policy.  While I don’t have the exact letter, because I had to email them through their website (insert rolling eyes) and they never respond via social media, this is the gist of what I sent. 

So I am gonna talk about FMLA, I am probably gonna make some of you mad, and I want to state up front I am NOT complaining about being a caregiver.  I am talking about the FAILURE of a law that is meant to protect people - but forgot people. 

Last year when Trey’s parent both got sick, I dropped FMLA papers in at my employer, only to be denied as “not a covered family member relationship” - while it really didn’t put a burden on us, I just wanted to be protected in case there was a need.  

In June last year when Trey’s Dad came to live with us, I again filled out FMLA papers thinking that because he was in my home, there might be a category, but again denied as “not a covered family member relationship” - completely in shock because he lives in my home, I reached out multiple times to different HR folks to clarify if this was correct. Multiple times I was sent the reply see policy .....and the denial was correct. 

I recently sat down to write my department head a letter about how unfair this situation is, but stopped short after researching the federal FMLA policy - to learn that the “in-law” relationship is not covered relationship either.  So I stopped writing.  

So here is who the FMLA policy covers; spouse, children (biological, adopted, foster), and parents. 

Now I know not everyone is caretaking for their in-laws, but I can name several friends of mine that are, some that work in the same office as me, some in the same situation of being the only family within hundreds of miles.  

So here is my “opinion” on this FMLA policy (and before I state my opinion, I am 100% supportive of Foster parents) - if the policy covers foster children, why would it not cover and an elderly in-law living in your home?  Is that not similar to being a “foster” parent - do you not spend your days doing similar task, for person not directly related to you?  

I have come to conclusion that this law and laws like are set up to protect children(which I applaud) but not the elderly - when I talk about these struggles I am often met with “why don’t you put him in a home” - which I reply back, so we want to keep children out of group homes, but put our elderly in one? 

I am drafting my first letters to my State Reps and Senators; I may never see a change, but I will stand up for those in need.  

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to:
  • Twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for:
    • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
    • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
    • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
    • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
    • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).”

Today nearly thirty days later I received a response from Roy Blunt , United States Senator (yes that’s how it was signed) and this was his response.

“Dear Mrs. Wiginton:

Thank you for contacting me regarding paid leave legislation.
Although laws such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provide for job-protected leave in circumstances such as the birth of a child, adoption, or serious family health concerns, such laws do not mandate pay.

While I agree that employees should have the ability to take reasonable sick leave in the case of family emergencies, I have concerns that broad legislation to mandate paid leave could place an unnecessary mandate on businesses without regard for the particular needs of the individuals involved.  In its effort to improve the lives of working Americans, Congress should be careful not to damage businesses or stifle job creation.  A one-size-fits-all solution to a diverse range of businesses and individuals is the wrong approach.

I appreciate your thoughts and will keep them in mind as I work towards solutions that benefit both employers and employees.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I look forward to continuing our conversation on Facebook ( and Twitter ( about the important issues facing Missouri and the country. I also encourage you to visit my website ( to learn more about where I stand on the issues and sign-up for my e-newsletter.

Sincere regards, 

Roy Blunt 
United States Senator

Now if you READ my letter, I am not asking for pay, I am asking for protection.  While my employer has been amazing, there could be day that I need it, or there could be another family just trying to give their aging parents the best care. 

Tonight, of course I am not exactly happy with the response, so here is what I wrote back.  

Dear Senator Blunt, 

I am not asking for paid leave, I am confident that is NOT what I wrote, what I am asking for is protection that I wouldn’t get fired if my 84 year old father-in-law that LIVES with me, became ill and I needed to miss work - I am his main caregiver and we are his only family close by.  His other son is currently serving in the United States Military and stationed 16 hours away from us. 

You are correct “Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides for job-protected leave in circumstances such as the birth of a child, adoption, or serious family health concerns, such laws do not mandate pay“ but they do offer protection for a set period of time, under qualifying relationship.  I have researched the FMLA policy extensively. 

I could adopt or foster my father-in-law and be protected, but have no protection under the act currently because he is just my ailing father-in-law who spent years serving our communities. 

I appreciate your response, but I am confident you either did not understand my email or you just didn’t read it. 


Becky Wiginton, Registered Voter 

Friends I am sick to death of having to SCREAM at our elected officials to get their attention.  I don’t care what party they are, they have FORGOTTEN who they represent.  I am not asking for money, I am asking for consideration for those families like mine, who are trying to provide the best end of life care for their parents and in-laws, and still be a working citizen.  

Oh and to add, I like that he included his social media links, I believe I will use those to tag his pages in.